New Zealand Law Society - The Crown will settle with Quake Outcasts group

The Crown will settle with Quake Outcasts group

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The Crown will settle litigation with a group known as the Quake Outcasts, the Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Nicky Wagner, says.

The Quake Outcasts challenged the Government’s offer for their uninsured properties in Greater Christchurch's Residential Red Zones. The Court of Appeal released an interim decision in the group’s favour last month.

“As soon as we had the Court’s decision, we moved swiftly to provide certainty,” Ms Wagner says. 

“In saying that, the decision to settle was not taken lightly. The Government carefully considered a range of factors, including fairness, financial responsibility, protecting the value of insurance and the litigants’ wellbeing.

“Cabinet has agreed to pay each of the 16 litigants 80% of the pre-earthquake (2007/08) rateable value of uninsured property improvements, as well as a one-off payment to account for the Court’s decision and extra uncertainties and costs.” 

Each of the former property owners has already been paid 100% of the pre-earthquake value of their land.

A spokesman for the Outcasts group is quoted in media as saying it is not a good deal and the homeowners believe they were entitled to full value of their homes.

Asked on their Facebook page if the case is over or if they are going back to court, Quake Outcasts replies that they are “still battling in court”.

“The Crown purchased over 7,700 properties, based on their pre-earthquake value, to help people move on with their lives. All decisions were made in good faith, with the best available information at the time,” Ms Wagner says.  

Any other decisions in response to the Court of Appeal’s judgment will be made by the Government after the 24 September general election.